“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18).
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern” (Philippians 3:17).
The English word “scope” comes from the Greek word skopeo. It is translated in the two passages above as “note”. Being a Christian requires you to keep your eyes open and attentive. You are especially to be on the lookout for two very different kinds of people:
Those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the apostles’ doctrine. These traitors to Christ’s cause do not serve the Savior; they serve themselves and their own selfish desires. As they appear in your line of sight, they are to be noted and avoided.
Those who follow the apostles’ doctrine and manner of life. These patriots of Christ’s cause live by the same apostolic rule; they serve their Savior, not themselves. As they appear in your line of sight, they are to be noted and used as a pattern to be followed.
To be wise and righteous, you need to be taking notes.